Nine killed, dozens injured after twin gas leaks in Qatari capital

Second leak comes hours after a gas explosion killed nine people at a Doha restaurant

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 27 February, 2014, 11:10pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 27 February, 2014, 11:18pm

Dozens of people were taken to hospital in Doha on Thursday after a gas leak at a chemical plant in an industrial area near the Qatari capital on Thursday, medics and security sources at the hospital said.

Medics said casualties were expected to arrive at the Hamad Medical Centre in Doha soon.

In a separate incident earlier on Thursday, nine people were killed when gas canisters exploded in a Turkish restaurant in Doha, the official news agency of the Gulf Arab state reported.

Thirty-two people were wounded, three of them critically, the agency added.

“The explosion that happened today at Istanbul restaurant next to a petrol station resulted in the death of nine people,” the agency said, citing ambulance sources.

Qatar’s prime minister, Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser al-Thani, confirmed there had been an explosion in remarks to state television.

“Some deaths occurred that were announced, and there will be a press conference through the Ministry of Interior to give more information about the incident,” said Sheikh Abdullah, who is also interior minister.

Asked if security regulations would be tightened up after the incident, he replied that “safety precautions are all there and the precautions for civil defence are there”.

Photographs purporting to show the aftermath of the incident posted on social media showed chunks of masonry and cars apparently crumpled by the explosion lying outside the restaurant in a northwestern district of the city. A fire burned inside the building.